Seven mountains, countless forested peaks and a rough terrain define mountainous Nafpaktia, a 550-square- kilometer area that extends north of beautiful Nafpaktos town. Forests of fir, beech, oak and chestnut trees are dotted by more than 40 villages that form an impressive group of communities, one of the most impressive in the country. The old narrow dirt lanes that used to connect the villages are still traversable and that means that hiking lovers can use them to explore the heart of this area’s untamed nature, filled with lush densely forested valleys, ravines and brooks of crystal-clear waters. The aquatic environments of Evinos River and Evinolimni (Evinos Lake) enhance the beauty of the area.
The historic fortified town of Nafpaktos will serve as your starting point as you begin to explore the serpentine uphill paths that will gradually reveal to you the so far out of sight lovely landscapes. The following villages are in the visitors’ list of best preferred destinations:
Ano Chora – Kato Chora
Built on a fir-covered slope of Mt. Korakas (1,050 m. elevation), Ano Chora is the top preference on the tourists’ list for the entire area. Stroll along the stone-paved narrow streets connecting the picturesque neighbourhoods. Admire the stone houses with the coloured balconies and the flowerbeds in the yards. Quench your thirst by the fountains and the gurgling waters of brooks running through the village. Stop by the stone-paved square dominated by Agia Paraskevi church. Right next to it you will see Karnavalos, a legendary old bus which used to run the Nafpaktos – Ano Chora – Kato Chora winding route, until 1983.
There is a 4 km paved road leading to Kato Chora. If you enjoy hiking you can follow the path of Oineas, a circular route (1h. 45min.) that connects the two villages. A more demanding yet memorable track is the one that crosses Kakavos ravine.
The village is one of the top choices among hikers who wish to climb the nearby mountains, as it offers breathtaking views of the surrounding captivating landscape. The path of Hercules traverses a lovely gorge and connects Ampelakiotissa and Ano Chora (2h. 40 min.). Those of you who are interested in religious tourism will definitely enjoy a visit to Agios Nikolaos church, featuring a 1748 wood-carved iconostasis and to the historic Ampelakiotissa monastery, a landmark of mountainous Nafpaktia.
This is a small village, practically invisible, as it is located deep inside the fir forest. The stone-built houses with red rooftops are barely discernible behind the dense spear-shaped trees, creating a unique scenery. It is the perfect choice for a relaxing stay and romantic sauntering along its narrow cobbled streets.
The traditional character and the mountain architectural style of the houses are quite impressive in the area’s largest historic village. The big square is one of the finest in the area, with a huge plane tree overlooking the traditional coffee shops and tavernas; this is a meeting place for locals and visitors alike. The village’s attractions include the Museum of National Resistance, the Folk Art Museum, and Agios Nikolaos church with its majestic twin bell towers, to name but a few. Make sure you visit the nearby villages Perko and Perista (2km.); you will be fascinated by the wild beauty of Nafpaktos mountainous land.
Evinochoria (villages by Evinos River)
Start your trip from Platanos, then head towards the dam and the artificial Evinos Lake. Neochori, Arachova, Perdikovrysi and Klepa offer an enchanting view over Evinolimni.
At the point where Evinos gets narrower, you will see the single-arched Artotiva bridge, also called Kamara, spanning the river. This is an important site for locals and it is closely connected to the area’s history, financial activities and social life.
If you love adventure sports, this is your place to be! Hiking, mountaineering, mountain biking, 4X4 or off-road dirt bike riding are activities in the wild that will offer you truly memorable experiences. Other options for you include rafting, kayaking, rappelling and flying fox.